Coronary Artery Bypass Graft is a commonly accepted treatment for Coronary Artery Disease with severe blockage. The primary goal of this surgery is to improve the patient’s quality of life and increase the life expectancy. In essence, blocked arteries are bypassed and alternate pathways are created during this surgery to restore normal blood flow to the heart muscles.
However, CABG cannot cure the underlying condition that leads to blockage of arteries in the first place. Coronary Artery Disease develops as a wax-like substance known as plaque, which gets accumulated in the blood arteries. Over the period of time, this results in artery blockage and hinders the normal blood flow. When heart muscles stop getting the adequate oxygen supply, they weaken and this may even lead to heart failure in extreme circumstances. To avoid such eventualities, CABG is performed.
It’s essential to make some lifestyle changes and take proper care post-Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery to stay healthy.
Recovering from the Surgery
With the advancements in medical technology, the recovery period post-CABG has considerably decreased. However, it is still a major procedure and a patient may need to stay in Intensive Care for one or two days post-surgery. In the case of Minimally Invasive Procedures, patients may be sent home from the hospital within a week. However, a recovery period of 6-12 weeks is quite normal.
During this period, the patient may easily tire at the end of the day. It is advised to follow all the doctor’s instructions and take proper precautions.
There is a common misconception that a person who undergoes CABG cannot lead a normal life. The truth is, after recovering from the surgery, patients can perform all regular life activities. However, they do need to make certain lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy.
The following may be advised by the doctor to ensure maximum life expectancy:
- Medication: Even if a patient was already taking medicines before surgery, the dosages and even the medicines may change post-surgery. In general, patients may be required to take medicines for controlling blood pressure, preventing blood clots, and keeping cholesterol levels in check.
- Quit Smoking: Risk of CAD’s are high in smokers, and it is strictly ill-advised to smoke if a person undergoes CABG. Smoking may accelerate your disease and lead to additional blockages pretty soon.
- Eat Healthy: Say no to junk food! Diet high in cholesterol and unsaturated fats is a leading cause of plaque build-up. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and fibre rich foods as much as possible.
- Cardiac Rehabilitation: Opting for Cardiac Rehabilitation can offer you the structural support and expert guidance you need to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. It also involves psychological counseling to help you work through all the issues.
- Regular Physical Activity: It is often misunderstood that a person who undergoes CABG should not perform physical activities. On the contrary, regular physical activity as advised by your physician can help you keep your heart healthy and strong. However, make sure you don’t overdo it and follow your doctor’s instructions.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft offers a new lease of life to patients suffering from severe CAD. Combined with the right lifestyle choices, it can significantly improve the quality of life of a patient.
Apollo hospitals across the country do have cardiac rehabilitation programmes where the post CABG care and lifestyle is explained and tracked for you. Do check at www.askapollo.com for details.